Dallas Children's Theater Blog

Astonishing Kids And Families With The Fun of Broadway-Like Plays and A Lot More!

Bank of Texas: Investing in Arts Education

Regardless of your age, there is a great likelihood that you can recall the first time you attended a play. The memory is likely all the more vivid if it took place when you were a child. You were transported to another world, mesmerized by the actors, the story and the stage, by a genre that is far more personal and human than a motion picture could ever be.

Research has spoken to the power the arts possess to help children lead more productive and impactful lives. The Dallas Children’s Theater has long believed in bringing the power of the arts to the children of Dallas, and is about to reach its 28th year of providing this vital service to our children. Bank of Texas is proud of their efforts as they bring those powerful, vivid moments and memories to the young people in our community through theatrical productions, classes and special events.

Bank of Texas was especially pleased to sponsor the Dallas Children’s Theater’s recent special event featuring one of the leading voices in the research devoted to the impact of the arts on children, Dr. James Catterall. Dr. Catterall’s research is well-respected and widely used in the arts community by organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, VH1 Save the Music, the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, Americans for the Arts, National Arts Council, and countless others.

Dallas Children’s Theater and other arts groups in the community who devote time and attention to children and families are certainly worthy of our time and investment because their efforts are clearly enriching our citizens of today and tomorrow. I hope all of you will consider learning more about them.

To learn more about Dallas Children’s Theater’s impact, watch this video.

Guest Blogger,

George Townsend

Senior Portfolio Manager, Bank of Texas

“Tree-ific” Praise of “Mufaro”

During the past eight months, DCT’s highly acclaimed National Touring show Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, based on the Caldecott Award winning story, has impressed audiences across the country, performing 176 times in 56 cities to 125,000 people!

Recently, Abrams 1st grade in Olympia, WA sent us an amazing thank-you (pictured above), telling us how much they enjoyed the performance. Our favorite quotes? “The acting was tree-ific” and “All of it warmed my heart”.

Curious about the tree reference? Come see the show at DCT when it runs Friday, June 22nd through Sunday, July 15th! Join us for this enchanting tale celebrating goodness, generosity and love with traditional chanting, rhythmic drumming and glorious African song.

To purchase tickets for one of the upcoming show times, call the DCT Box Office at 214-740-0051, or visit our website.

DCT Turns Spotlight on Team Libby

Monday night at DCT, more than two-dozen local performers – including Disney princesses, singer-songwriters and actors – lent their talents for an unforgettable show. The memorable evening stood out not just because of what was on the playbill, but whom it was for.

Every performer and every person in the audience came in support of Libby, the 6-year-old daughter of local actress Cara Serber, who was in DCT’s 2009 production of Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, and husband Jeff. In March, Libby was diagnosed with cancer, and since that time, friends and loved ones have rallied around the young girl and her family.

And based on the amount of people who quickly filled the DCT lobby within the first half hour of Monday night’s event, it is clear that Team Libby already has a strong following.

The transformative power of theater not only produced an entertaining show Monday night, it also touched the lives of a very special little girl and her family during a time of great need. Monday night’s event raised more than $12,000, which will help with Libby’s medical expenses.

Dallas Children’s Theater donated the space for holding the event, and a huge debt of gratitude goes to all of the performers and other persons who lent a helping hand to make this event possible.

To learn more about Team Libby, including how to view a sweet YouTube video of Broadway stars saying hi to Libby, visit a special Dallas Morning News article. Also, Mary Poppins herself, Julie Andrews, wrote a very kind note to Libby wishing her well, which you can view here.

DCT Board Member Impacted by “Shared Stories”

During a rehearsal in April 2012, DCT & 6th Floor Museum staff took notes and discussed their collaboration “Shared Stories”.

If you were alive on November 22, 1963, you can probably remember where you were when you heard the news that President Kennedy had been assassinated.

I was in elementary school, and I clearly recall my mother picking my brothers and me up early and telling us the news. Watching the funeral procession on television is another memory I have; imperfect but indelible.

Now that I have teenagers, I have tried to impress them with the solemnity, the importance and the sheer horror of that time. Usually after a few short minutes, their eyes glaze over and I know I have lost their attention. They are probably thinking, “What does this have to do with me?”

Resident playwright Linda Daugherty has written Shared Stories, and with Dallas Children’s Theater joined forces with the Sixth Floor Museum to answer just that question.

Their 20-minute museum theater piece uses a couple of young actors combined with archival videotaped testimony to recount the sentiment of those that experienced firsthand that fateful day. DCT Director Nancy Schaeffer beautifully guides the two young actors, who do a marvelous job bringing immediacy to the events surrounding the death of the President.

DCT Board Member Georgiana Shelokov (right) posed with the show’s director, DCT Education Director Nancy Schaeffer (left) at the 2011 Cabaret Gala. Photo by Dana Driensky

I was privileged enough to see the first (and so far only) public showing of this project, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and I truly wish it could be shown in every school around the country. Hopefully, additional funding will be forthcoming to allow further implementation of this program here in Dallas and possibly further afield.

I was so impressed by how the combination of history, drama, film clips and location added up to this truly unique experience. The value of this type of learning experience to share history across generations is immeasurable.

As a board member, I am so proud of how DCT uses its resources to educate and enlighten. It demonstrates the versatility and talent of the wonderful DCT staff beyond their amazing literary performances; works that oftentimes the average theatergoer is not aware of.

Outstanding on the stage and invaluable in the community…We are so lucky to live in a city with a resource like the Dallas Children’s Theater!

Georgiana Shelokov

VP of Education, DCT Board of Trustees

A “Blume”ing Rapport at the DMA

Author Judy Blume (left) pictured with DCT Education Director Nancy Schaeffer (right) at the recent DMA Arts & Letters Live event.

It was like listening to a conversation in someone’s living room.

In preparation for moderating a discussion with award-winning author Judy Blume to a sold-out crowd at the DMA’s Arts & Letters Live, DCT Education Director Nancy Schaeffer had studied all about Blume’s life and work.

“I’m so lucky I got to meet her and be on stage with her! She made me feel so relaxed – it was like we were long lost pals,” said Schaeffer.

In fact, Schaeffer had done so much research and was so prepared that at one point, she knew the answer to a question before Blume did! After the next question, Blume jokingly asked Schaeffer if she wanted to answer for her, and the whole audience laughed.

Among the many topics of discussion were Blume’s writing style.

“I loved learning about her writing process,” Schaeffer said. “Meeting her really reaffirmed my belief in the power of stories and also the work we do at DCT bringing books to life on stage.”

DCT is a big fan of the author. Her book Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, an audience favorite, has gone from page to stage at DCT twice.

The Dallas Morning News Arts Blog described the recent Arts & Letters Live event with Blume & Schaeffer as a poignant evening. You can read about it here: https://artsblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2012/04/what-was-so-emotional-about-ju.html.

A great time was had by all, and DCT sends special thanks to the Dallas Museum of Art for involving us in such a special evening!

Diary of the (Cue)test Show

“They do things big at DCT, but this might be their biggest show yet.” –Dallas Observer

The multi-level set of DCT’s larger-than-life show Diary of a Worm, a Spider & a Fly magnifies the insect world into a fascinating place: It’s in the sky, It’s underground, It’s in a treehouse. There are over-sized juiceboxes, bottle caps, and a bug’s arch nemesis: the vacuum cleaner.

Ant uses his karate skills to try to fend off the dreaded vacuum cleaner. Photo by Karen Almond

While the audience watches all of the action happening onstage in the show, the backstage crew keeps busy with elaborate transitions, called cues.

Cues are signals used to prompt another event in a performance, such as an actor’s speech or entrance, a change in lighting, a sound effect or a video effect.

Did you know there are approximately 450 cues in the show, including 200 light cues, 120 audio cues and 100 video cues? Who knew the insect world could be so complex!

Diary of a Worm, a Spider & a Fly continues at DCT through Sunday, June 3rd! To purchase tickets for one of the upcoming show times, call the Box Office at 214-740-0051, or visit our website.

“Diary” Buzz

It’s the coolest ever rock-n-roll romp in a bug’s world! DCT’s current show Diary of a Worm, a Spider & a Fly is creating all kinds of buzz!

Check out the reviews for yourself:

Dallas Morning News: “The raucous, joyous show rapping spiritedly at Dallas Children’s Theater offers an intoxicating mix of educational and entertaining fare.”

Dallas Observer: “They do things big at DCT, but this may be their biggest show yet.”

TheaterJones: “Not only is the production quality consistently high, but you get to watch the young audience members as they respond to the actors with unfettered honesty.”

Diary of a Worm, a Spider & a Fly continues at DCT through Sunday, June 3rd. Call the Box Office at 214-740-0051, or visit our website to purchase tickets to one of the upcoming show times!

Introducing DCT’s 2012-2013 Season…

Have you updated your passport recently?

Get ready to be transported to another dimension! To a town called Pigsylvania! To a world where everything turns pink! And many other exciting locales!

DCT’s highly anticipated line up of shows for the 2012-2013 season features an exciting variety of imaginative adventures and classic tales.

Find out what our DCT Academy students can’t wait to see!

Also, visit our website for more information on each of the shows in the 2012-2013 season, as well as how to take advantage of DCT’s affordable season ticket packages, which are on sale now!

AnchorKids at DCT

Are you more Worm, Spider or Fly? Does your mother let you roll around in the dirt? Who is your favorite Beatle? (or beetle?)

These are just a few of the burning questions that DCT’s Anchor Kids, Maxwell and Zachary, asked the audience on Friday, May 4th during the Opening Night celebration for the show Diary of a Worm, a Spider & a Fly.

Check out DCT’s young Woodward & Bernstein in action!

One Actor, Six Characters

Grampa Spider is a world traveler. Mrs. Fly’s 327 children drive her crazy. Mrs. Spider is from Fargo, North Dakota. Aunt Rita, a fly, is a little bit Southern. Father Worm gives his son a timeout. And, the DJ, a junebug, keeps the catchy music going.

Six very different characters…all played by one actor!

The multi-talented actor B.J. Cleveland gives us an overview of each character in the insect world that he plays in DCT’s latest show Diary of a Worm, a Spider & a Fly.

Not only does Cleveland have many roles in the show, he actually changes costumes three times in one song to play three different characters!

Check out all of the characters and many more fun songs and surprises in Diary of a Worm, a Spider & a Fly, which is running at Dallas Children’s Theater through Sunday, June 3, 2012.

For more information on show times and ticket availability, visit our website at https://www.dct.org, or call the Box Office at 214-740-0051.